Nov 25, 2016

Ex-polygamous sect member needed permission to become nurse, court hears

The Canadian Press
Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016

CRANBROOK, B.C. — A woman who broke free from a polygamous marriage told a trial that she had to repeatedly seek permission to go to nursing school.

Jane Blackmore is the first witness at the trial of three members from the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., who are accused of transporting girls under the age of 16 into the United States for a sexual purpose.

She told the court that when she was 13 years old, the sect’s prophet told her it was God’s will that she care for the ill as the end of the world approached.

She testified that she was anxious to go to school for nursing, and was asked by a lawyer for one of the accused about the steps she took to achieve that goal.

Blackmore, who is now 60, told the court that women in the community were not to pursue a post-secondary education until they were married, had children and their husbands were able to get permission on their behalf from the prophet.

Special prosecutor Peter Wilson said in his opening statements earlier this week that much of his case against James Oler, Brandon Blackmore and Gail Blackmore will centre around proving the women in Bountiful were required to be obedient to their husbands and fathers.

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